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Somali president seeks all-round peace talks

The president of Somalia’s fragile moderate Islamist government told the UN in New York that he will soon resume peace talks with all Somali parties, including armed rebels. The statement comes in the aftermath of carnage caused by twin bombings of the AU mission in the capital Mogadishu, in which 15 Burundian peacekeepers died, and shortly after US helicopters killed a man thought to be a top al-Qaeda leader. Getting anyone to come to the peace table will be no mean feat. The Horn of Africa country has been in a state of perpetual conflict since warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre 18 years ago. Even the US was forced to withdraw after it invaded in December 1992 in the short-lived – and ill-named - Operation Restore Hope. Tens of thousands of people have been killed since 2007, while pirates in the Gulf of Aden operate with seeming impunity despite the presence of numerous navies.


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